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Satyric Play: The Evolution of Greek Comedy and Satyr Drama by Carl Shaw

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By Carl Shaw

Satyric Play is the 1st e-book to provide an built-in research of Greek comedy and satyr drama. utilizing a literary-historical process, Carl A. Shaw argues that comedy and satyr performs encouraged one another in approximately all phases in their improvement. even though satyr drama used to be written by means of tragedians and hired a few formal tragic components, the funny refrain of half-man, half-horse satyrs inspired sustained interplay among poets of comedy and satyr play. From sixth-century proto-drama, via classical productions staged on the Athenian urban Dionysia, to bookish Alexandrian performs of the third-century, the is still of comedian and satyric performances exhibit a variety of literary, aesthetic, ancient, spiritual, and geographical connections. Shaw analyzes the main points of this interaction diachronically, a variety of literary and fabric facts. He indicates that old critics and poets allude to comic-satyric institutions in spectacular methods, vases depict interesting performative connections, and the performs themselves percentage titles, plots, modes of humor, and infrequently even a refrain of satyrs. Satyric Play uncovers and examines the advanced, transferring dating among comedy and satyr drama, providing perception into the advance of those genres and the Greek theatrical event as a complete.

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With its Dionysiac character (μέλος Διωνύσου ἄνακτος is in apposition to διθύραμβον) and its reference to leading a group (ἐξάρξαι), the fragment characterizes dithyramb broadly as a choral, most likely processional, song and dance in honor of Dionysus. But its allusion to drunkenness also suggests the possibility for humorous dithyrambic poetry, since it is hard to imagine that being “thunderstruck with wine” would be a fitting mental state for leading a solemn dithyramb. On dithyramb, see Froning (1971), Pickard-Cambridge (1962), Zimmermann (1992), Ieranò (1997), Pritchard (2004), and many useful studies in Kowalzig and Wilson (2013).

Symposium 203c5–d1. ” This description also applies to satyrs and satyr play. 20 Cf. Usher (2002, 219) and Scholtz (2007, 111–44). , high and low), but are neither comedy nor tragedy. By connecting satyr drama to romance in this way, Plato demonstrates the genre’s independent, yet mixed nature, but he creates particularly strong connections to comedy. Satyr drama’s relationship to tragedy is obvious on the formal level, since it is written by tragedians and uses similar myths and meters. But satyr drama’s connections to comedy are, in many ways, also obvious, except when obscured by overreliance on a binary approach to genre.

But Socrates’ associations with satyr play are more complex. He was certainly not a “satyr dramatist,” but he was a satyric figure, both in appearance and character. Earlier in the dialogue, in fact, Alcibiades eulogizes the philosopher in a protracted simile that explicitly connects him to satyrs: Σωκράτη δ’ ἐγὼ ἐπαινεῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες, οὕτως ἐπιχειρήσω, δι’ εἰκόνων. οὗτος μὲν οὖν ἲσως οἰήσεται ἐπὶ τὰ γελοιότερα, ἔσται δ’ ἡ εἰκὼν τοῦ ἀληθοῦς ἕνεκα, οὐ τοῦ γελοίου.  . καὶ φημὶ αὖ ἐοικέναι αὐτὸν τῷ σατύρῳ τῷ Μαρσύᾳ.

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